Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Fire Pit Safety   Leave a comment

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A backyard fire pit is great for family gatherings or parties with friends. It is imperative that you safely build and maintain a fire pit to avoid dangers from sparks. At the same time, every homeowner must have liability insurance to assist with payments for personal injuries. Contact your local fire department to determine if fire pits are permitted on private property. If your geographic region allows the building of fire pits, then ask about particular regulations required to comply with the law. Failure to follow your local government’s restrictions could lead to fines.

Look for a place in your backyard that is away from structures such as fences, decks and outbuildings. Choose a location away from shrubs, trees and gardens that can catch on fire due to hot sparks. Do not place a fire pit near utility lines, telephone poles or a neighbor’s property. In addition, you must build the pit in an area that is unaffected by windy weather. Concrete blocks or bricks are a standard support system for a backyard fire pit built on bare dirt or other nonflammable surface. While building the fire pit ring, make sure the support system is attached firmly to hold the metal bowl used to hold logs.

Allow the fire pit ring to sit for a few days to ensure it is safe to use before starting a fire. Begin layering logs in the metal bowl stabilized by the fire pit ring. Carefully light a match to set the starter log burning. As the fire begins, you can place a screen over the flames. It is important to keep clothing and hands away from the flames to avoid burn injuries. Wearing long oven mitts or using tongs while preparing the fire is an excellent method to avoid injury. Always have a bucket of water nearby to douse flames in an emergency such as high winds and flying sparks.

Courtesy of Wiseman Insurance Agency

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

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Posted November 7, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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Dangers of Deep Fried Turkey   1 comment

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Lured in by the promise of moist, sweet turkey meat, the deep fryer has become an increasingly popular way to make Thanksgiving dinner.  But cooking up a Tom the Turkey in a vat of boiling oil does come with its dangers.  

In fact, the dangers could amount to a national security risk — or at least that is what Department of Homeland Security thinks. Check out the video below “How dangerous can turkey fryers be?”

(We particularly like the cool looking gear that could come in handy if exploding turkeys ever raised the threat risk to red.) 

In all seriousness, every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

We tried our own experiments too. As you can see in our video, dropping frozen turkeys into the boiling oil of deep fryers brings on giant flames of fire shooting up 10 feet in the air. Indoors these grease flames can easily catch homes on fire, cause severe burns, and, if nothing else, will ruing your Thanksgiving turkey. 

We spoke to Tommy Steen, a 28-year veteran firefighter with the Rankin County Emergency Operations Center in Brandon, Mississippi, to find out the most dangerous mistakes first-time turkey fryers commonly make. Steen, a strong advocate of the deep-fried turkey’s delicious taste, emphasizes you don’t need to be scared of frying if you know what you’re doing. “99.9% of the time you can pull this off without a problem, as long as you do it right.” 

Here are Steen’s top four “Do Not Do’s” for deep-frying turkeys. 

Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey Frozen turkeys are full of moisture, and we all know how water and hot oil don’t mix well, so make sure your turkey is completely thawed out before trying to fry it. “Depending on the size of the turkey it could take up to 3 or 4 days in your refrigerator from solid frozen to ready to go in fryer,” Steen suggests. 

Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot When oil gets around 400-425-degrees it can catch on fire by itself. Steen says to make sure you have a thermometer and are watching the temperature very carefully. “If you see your oil smoking, it’s too hot, you need to back off, back off the heat,” Steen says. Most oils should stay around 350-degrees, but you can check the label to see what the exact temperature limit is for your oil. 

Don’t Use Too Much Oil A common, and potentially disastrous mistake people make is putting too much cooking oil in their pot. “If you overfill your pot with oil and you drop the turkey in, it’s going to spill over, and that can be almost as catastrophic as having a frozen turkey go in because you’re going to get spillage, the oil is going to run down next to the flame on the burner, which could result in a catastrophic fire,” Steen warns. To figure out how much oil you’ll need, Steen suggests putting your turkey in the empty cooking pot, filling it up with enough water to cover it, take the turkey out, and then mark the top of the water line to know how much oil your turkey will need. 

Don’t Deep-Fry Indoors If something does go wrong, the inside of your home is the last place you want flames shooting up in the air. “Don’t do this in your garage, don’t do this on your wooden deck. If you’re going to do it, do it out in your yard away from anything that’s flammable that could catch on fire. And by all means do not attempt to deep-fry a turkey with this type of cooker inside your house,” Steen pleads.

Courtesy of Foxnews.com

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Homeowners Halloween Horrors   Leave a comment

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When zombies, Snookies, and Lady Gagas storm your front door this weekend, don’t fear! Your homeowners insurance will protect you from Halloween mishaps.

Halloween is all fun and games until a trick-or-treater trips, knocks over your jack-o-lantern, and sets your front porch on fire. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies cover these common Halloween home mishaps:

  • Tricksters damage your home. Standard homeowners policies cover vandalism, such as dents in your siding caused by eggs thrown at your home, when repair costs exceed your deductible.
  • Candles or decorations cause a fire. A fire started by a Halloween candle or a string of holiday lights will be covered. If the fire makes your home unlivable, your homeowners policy will pay your living expenses while you wait for repairs.
  • A trick-or-treater gets hurt on your property. Injuries to trick-or-treaters or your party guests are covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. The injured person files a claim with your insurer.
  • You crash your car into a telephone pole to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater in your driveway. That accident would be covered by the collision portion of your auto insurance (if you have it). If you hurt anyone, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the cost of their treatment.

If everything on this list of Halloween home horrors occurred, your umbrella insurance would kick in to cover costs — if you have it.

To make your property safe for Halloween, the Insurance Information Institute has these recommendations:

  • Pick up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop, or porch that a person could trip over.
  • Turn on your outdoor lighting so kids can see where they’re going.
  • Use battery-powered lights in your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Don’t put matches, lighters, or candles in places children can reach.
  • Pets, candles, and trick-or-treaters don’t mix. Keep pets away from the front door on Halloween.
  • Look for safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), on your decorative lights.

Courtesy Houselogic.com

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted October 30, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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Halloween Waiver for Trick-or-Treaters   Leave a comment

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Halloween Trick-Or-Treat Liability and Indemnification Agreement

_____________________ (hereinafter referred to as “Trick-Or-Treater”) agrees not to sue, harass, or
trick ____________________ (hereinafter referred to as “Benefactor”) for providing free, delicious
Halloween treats.

Trick-Or-Treater acknowledges and understands that no warranty, either expressed or implied, is
made by Benefactor as to the nutritional content of the goody. This document is offered in order to
duly warn Trick-Or-Treater that unforeseeable risks of harm may lurk in the Tootsie Rolls, Pop Rocks,
Blow Pops, Baby Ruths, chewing gum, Butterfingers, caramel apples, and any or all other
comestibles that may be offered.

Trick-Or-Treater is hereby informed that Benefactor’s snacks may contain any or all of the following:
calories, carbohydrates, sodium (salt), fat, peanuts, sugar, and marshmallow goo.
Trick-Or-Treater acknowledges that overeating may incur risks including, but not limited to, ruining
dinner, tummy aches, nougat stuck in teeth, sticky fingers, and chocolate-stained clothes.
Trick-Or-Treater hereby holds harmless Benefactor from all liability for personal injury suffered by
Trick-Or-Treater — which may be caused, in whole or in part, by any element or agent of Benefactor’s
candies. Trick-Or-Treater agrees that neither he/she, nor his/her parents, little league coaches, or
piano teachers will sue Benefactor or his/her agents for any injury that Trick-Or-Treater suffers, in
whole or in part, from consuming edibles collected from Benefactor’s premises.

This indemnification includes an agreement not to haul Benefactor into court on the basis of:

1) Failure to warn of potential for overeating because candy tastes too good and is provided at no
cost;
2) Failure to provide nutritional information or adequate educational information on exercise options;
3) Failure to state that candy corn is not really corn;
4) Failure to warn the lactose intolerant away from milk duds;
5) Failure to offer “healthier alternatives,” “organic alternatives,” or “lame treats no kid wants”; and
6) Failure to provide information about other venues offering alternative, “healthier” Halloween
goodies.

TRICK-OR-TREATER INDEMNIFIES AND RELEASES BENEFACTOR FROM ALL LIABILITY. TRICK-ORTREATER
HAS READ THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTANDS IT. HE/SHE IS SIGNING IT FREELY AND
VOLUNTARILY AND WITHOUT DURESS, AND AGREES NOT TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS IN SUPPORT OF
JOHN “SUE HAPPY” BANZHAF, ESQ., OR ANY OTHER PERSONS WITH LAW DEGREES WHO
CANNOT OTHERWISE FIND MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT, AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE.

TRICK-OR-TREATER: ___________________________ DATE:______________________
BENEFACTOR: _____________________________
WITNESS: ___________________________ WITNESS: _________________________________

Posted October 24, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

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IS YOUR BUSINESS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THE STATE?   Leave a comment

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Every corporation and limited liability company (LLC) in Florida is required to file an annual report with the Florida Department of State.  Annual reports are due to the state by May 1st of each year.  For 2013, this requirement applies to businesses formed in 2012 or earlier; new businesses that were formed in 2013 do not have to file their first Annual Report until 2014.

If your business is organized as either a corporation or LLC and you did not file your Annual Report this year, your business entity was dissolved by the state in September and your company is no longer in “active status.”

If your business entity is dissolved and the company’s officers hold exemptions from workers’ compensation insurance, the state can revoke the exemption(s). If your company remains dissolved for over a year, the state will no longer protect your corporate name, and it will become available for other businesses to use.

If your company was dissolved because you did not file the Annual Report for 2013, you can restore your company’s active status with the state by filing a Reinstatement Application and paying the appropriate reinstatement fees.  The Reinstatement Application is only available online from the Division of Corporations’ website at www.sunbiz.org. Click on the box that says “File a Reinstatement Here!”  Or, you can click on the box that says “Get Online Reinstatement Filing Instructions” if you want to see the instructions for filling out the form.

The form is very similar to the annual report form.  Once it is filed, the reinstatement will be retroactive to the date your company was dissolved, as if the dissolution never happened.

For corporations (except nonprofits), the fee to be reinstated is $750 if the Reinstatement Application is filed on or before December 31st.  If the reinstatement is submitted on or after January 1, 2014, the fee goes up to $900. 

For LLC’s, the amount is $238.75 if the Reinstatement Application is filed on or before December 31st.  Starting January 1st, the fee goes up to $377.50. 

If you can’t remember whether you filed your company’s Annual Report for 2013, you can check your company’s status by visiting the Division of Corporations’ website at www.sunbiz.org.  Click on “Search Our Records” on the left-hand side of the screen, then click on “Inquire by Name.”  Enter the name of your company, and the system will find your information.  

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted October 4, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

I had an accident but I didn’t get a ticket so the other guy is at fault, Right?   Leave a comment

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Florida is a “Comparative negligence” State

Florida uses a form of comparative negligence (or your percentage of fault compared to the other party’s). This allows you to seek compensation even if you’re deemed only partially at fault. Since Florida uses comparative negligence, you can seek damages in proportion to your degree of responsibility for the crash.

For example, if a speeding driver rear-ends you after you suddenly changed lanes, it may be determined that both of you bear a degree of fault. If the other driver is found to be 60 percent responsible and you’re held 40 percent responsible, you may seek up to 60 percent of the settlement from the other driver’s insurer.

What “At Fault” Means 

It should come as no surprise that “at fault” literally means the person that caused the accident, or the one whose fault it is. Basically a person that is considered the catalyst for the accident is most likely to be considered “at fault”. There are other classifications of accidents, such as “no fault” and “partial fault”. Often times it can be difficult to ascertain who is at fault, and liability will be assessed to both drivers. In most cases, the person considered at fault will be the one that has performed an illegal, reckless, careless or irresponsible action while driving their vehicle, thus causing other vehicles to react to their actions, resulting in an accident.

What are the Ramifications of “At Fault”? 

Drivers that are considered at fault will find their insurance rates will increase, especially if there has been considerable damage to other vehicles. In addition, some insurance providers will drop drivers if they have too many at fault accidents. Furthermore, negligent drivers may be forced to pay for medical expenses, adding even more cost to their insurance companies. This can be particularly devastating if several cars, and multiple people, are involved. Property damage can also be tacked on to this as well. Insurance rates are not the only ramification of being at fault for an auto accident. Florida will assign points for every incident on driver’s licenses if you get into too many accidents, which in turn can further raise insurance rates.

What to do after an accident.

Get information from all of the vehicles involved. Get the other drivers names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Record the makes and models of the other vehicles, their insurance company information, and their vehicle identification number. The more information that you can get the better but, the mentioned information is a must. Do not ever try to handle the accident without your insurance company. In other words, do not ever let another driver talk you into handling the situation amongst yourselves. Even if they admit guilt of the accident and tell you that they would rather not have insurance companies involved for fear of future insurance rates going up, don’t go for it. Even if the person seems like the nicest person in the world, don’t make this mistake. There have been many cases where this has happened, then a few days later the innocent driver who was not at fault is informed that the other driver is suing them. Suddenly that other driver does not believe that the accident was their fault anymore and reported the accident to their insurance company. This kind of situation will leave you in a bad situation so do not fall for something like this no matter what! 

You will then want to contact your insurance company right away and let them know what happened. Give them all the details of the accident and let them know that the accident was not your fault. If you can call them while the police are present it may be even better as the police may be able to give them information that you can’t.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

The 5 Biggest Lies Told to Car Insurance Companies   Leave a comment

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Fudging on your car insurance application to save on the premium may seem like a harmless white lie, but it can spell trouble for you down the road.

A new report by Quality Planning Corp. in San Francisco says car insurance companies lost $15.9 billion in 2008 from what it calls “premium leakage” — meaning loss of revenue due to the inability of insurers to keep track of changes in customers’ situations that affect prices. The number represents almost 10 percent of the total $167 billion in personal auto premium written.

“It’s a major problem, and some companies are taking it very seriously,” says Quality Planning senior vice president Bob U’Ren. His company designs solutions for insurers to validate policyholder information and cut premium losses. In other words, they’re in the business of making sure you’re telling the truth.

Here are the most common misrepresentations customers make to their car insurance companies.

1. Under-estimating the number of miles driven

Whether out of ignorance or as a strategy to cut their premiums, many people lowball the number of miles they drive. Some simply forget to call their car insurance agents when they get new jobs that lengthen their commutes. This lie was the most misrepresented rating factor in 2008 and accounted for an industry loss of more than $3 billion

2. “Forgetting” to report all the drivers in the household

Up to 2 percent of policies written are for households with a driver who’s not listed on the policy — and that “missing” driver is usually a high-premium teenage driver or an adult driver with a lot of premium-boosting baggage. In conducting premium audits, Quality Planning asked one mom why her 17-year-old daughter, a licensed driver, wasn’t listed on the policy. Her reply: “I totally forgot she was in the household.” Unrated drivers accounted for $2.6 billion in lost premium in 2008.

3. Fudging the garage location

Quality Planning noted a slight upward trend in the number of people misreporting where they park their cars, particularly in big cities, where garage locations can affect premiums dramatically. Location discrepancies led to $1.3 billion in lost premium in 2008.

4. Claiming discounts that no longer apply

In some cases, drivers conveniently forget to tell their car insurance agents that the conditions that gave them a discount have changed. For example, perhaps they ended membership in an organization that made them eligible for a special premium rate. These wrongly applied discounts, based on misinformation about the driver or the car, added up to $2.9 billion in 2008.

5. Misstating how the car is used

Some customers fail to tell their car insurance companies that they’re using the car for business. An at-home daycare provider, for instance, may neglect to mention that the household van is used to transport the kids to the park every day. Insurers lost $1.5 billion in premium as a result of this type of misrepresentation.

How car insurance companies find out

There are a variety of ways car insurance companies can find out that you lied. If the teenage son you fail to list on your policy gets in a car accident, it’ll be pretty obvious.

Insurance companies also turn to outfits like Quality Planning, which use sophisticated analytical testing to uncover rating errors. The company puts an insurer’s policies through a battery of more than 150 tests, cross-referencing data and employing pattern-matching algorithms to identify errors and discrepancies that suggest fraud or misrepresentation.

If you think the insurance company can’t find out how far you drive every year, think again. Odometer readings taken at smog testing stations, for instance, can be compared to what you report to your insurance agent, U’Ren says. It’s just one example of how your information can be checked.

Given the turbulent economy, insurers have good reason to pay attention. According to Quality Planning, every 1 percent reduction in rating error can result in a 20 percent profit gain. So don’t be surprised if the information you report to your car insurance company comes under increasing scrutiny.

Why should you care about lies?

For one thing, truthful customers end up paying higher premiums to make up for those who lie.

In addition, if a car insurance company catches you in a lie, it can cancel your policy and refuse to pay your claim — assuming you provided inaccurate information intentionally.

Some of the misinformation reported to insurers stems from outright consumer fraud — people deliberately lying to their car insurance companies in order to score lower premiums.

“People know how insurance works and how the game is played,” U’Ren says.

But most misinformation is the result of unreported lifestyle changes. For example, in 52 percent of household auto insurance policies, there’s a change in the vehicle or drivers each year. And more than 25 percent of workers change jobs every year, which affects the number of miles driven, according to Quality Planning.

“Oftentimes, the insurance agent is the last person you think to contact,” U’Ren says.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 6, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

Students   Leave a comment

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When a teenager gets a license, it’s probably the first time he or she focuses on insurance. And as young people graduate from high school and head off to college or enter the working world, there are lots of insurance matters for young people out on their own for the first time to think about.

AUTO

Teenage drivers represent the highest risk segment of the population and are involved in more serious and fatal accidents than anyone else. From the insurance company’s standpoint, high risk requires a higher insurance premium. Teenage drivers can add anywhere from 50 and 100 percent to the cost of a family’s auto coverage. Generally, it is cheaper to put a teenage driver on the family policy. Driver education and good student discounts can take the sting out of that to some extent. Many states have graduated driver licensing programs which phase in driving privileges and give teens driving experience under controlled conditions allowing young drivers to demonstrate good driving habits and gain experience. Pick a safe car to drive – the model chosen greatly affects the cost of insurance. If a college student does not have a car during the school year (many schools restrict cars on campus for the first couple of years) and attends a school at least 100 miles from home, tell the insurance company. Rates may be lowered significantly for the period the student is not at home.

HOME

There aren’t many “student homeowners.” But they have “stuff” that needs protection, which usually comes through homeowner or renter insurance. If a student lives at home, or in a college dorm, their personal possessions, including a computer, stereo, television, clothing and such items are covered by the family’s policy. If they have any items of exceptional value, it’s a good idea to have a separate endorsement on the policy. If a college student lives off campus, the family policy will probably not cover them. They should consider purchasing separate renter insurance.

LIFE

Life insurance protects a family’s way of life. As students approach college, not only are families focused on how to pay for it, they should also be thinking of how to keep things on track if tragedy strikes. Life insurance, whether whole life or term, is one way to ensure that resources will be there for your student to finish college if something happens to one of the family breadwinners. At a minimum, families should think about a limited policy that would cover burial expenses if a child is killed in an accident.

HEALTH

In most cases, a full-time student will be covered in the family’s health plan until he or she graduates from college, or remains a full-time student up to 23 years of age. However, if the parents belong to a closed-network HMO that doesn’t provide non-emergency coverage in the school’s area, a separate policy for the student should be considered. Most colleges have a clinic on campus and may offer supplemental insurance as well. If a child gets sick and has to temporarily drop out, parents might want to consider having tuition insurance. Otherwise, even though the child has left school, the family may be on the hook for the tuition.

DISABILITY

Disability coverage provides for lost wages in the event you are injured and unable to work. Most part-time jobs do not include such benefits, so disability insurance is unlikely to be provided by employers to students who work while going to school. For parents who are paying for their children’s college education, disability insurance would ensure that resources are there should the primary wage earner become disabled and be unable to work.

LONG-TERM CARE

The younger and healthier one is, the less paid for insurance. But long-term care insurance is generally not an insurance priority for a young student unless there are extenuating circumstances.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Helping your student establish a solid financial foundation — managing student loans, credit cards and day-to-day finances — will help them in many ways, including getting insurance at the best possible rate. In many states, insurers use information from credit reports, along with other underwriting factors, to help determine who qualifies for insurance and what they pay. As a result, it’s important to avoid graduating from college and burdened by consumer debt in addition to student loans. Establishing a budget is a good first step. Parents may want to set up a debit card account for their student. Cash can be added conveniently to the account when needed, and expenses can be reasonably monitored.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 3, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

Auto Insurance Myths and Realities   Leave a comment

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Myths

Red cars cost more to insure.

Color is not a factor used to calculate car insurance rates — we don’t even ask you what color your car is when you get a quote from us. Factors that do matter are the year, make, model, body type, engine size and age of your car, as well as drivers on your policy.

One speeding ticket will make my car insurance rates go up.

Sometimes this is true, but in many cases, you have to get two tickets before your rate goes up. Your driving history, the length of time you’ve been insured with a company and how fast you were going when you were cited can affect whether your rate increases or not. Keep in mind that a speeding ticket may not be the sole reason your rate increases, as several factors are considered when reviewing them.

Auto insurance rates aren’t regulated, so auto insurance companies can charge what they want.

Each state requires auto insurance companies to file how they calculate customer rates, and insurers cannot deviate from these filed rates. Each state also has regulators who review that information and the rates companies charge.

I only need the bare minimum amount of car insurance.

Many states have minimum car insurance requirements, but the minimum amount of required insurance may not cover all of your costs. If you cause an accident that results in a lawsuit and your insurance limits don’t cover all of the damages, your assets could be pursued.

Cheaper cars cost less to insure.

If your cheaper car has a large engine, weighs a lot or is an unusual model, it might cost more to insure than a more expensive small car. However, if you have a cheaper car, you will pay less for Comprehensive coverage, which covers damage caused by vandalism, hail, fire or animal accidents.

If someone driving my car causes an accident, I won’t be held responsible.

It’s possible you’ll be financially responsible for an accident — even if someone else is driving your car. In most states, the car insurance policy covering the vehicle is considered the primary insurance, which means that the insurance company for the vehicle must pay for damages caused by an accident. Even so, it’s still possible that the driver’s insurance company could be responsible for some of the damages. Why? If the vehicle’s insurance limits are too low and don’t cover all the damages, the driver’s insurance may be next in line to pay for the remainder of the damages.

Since policies and laws differ by state, knowing how your state’s insurance system works could influence who drives your car.

Older cars are cheaper to insure.

Car insurance rates for all vehicles vary depending on several factors, such as who drives a vehicle and its annual mileage. For older vehicles, many drivers choose to carry only Liability (BI/PD) coverage, which covers injury or damage to other people or property, not damage to the insured person or vehicle. Liability only coverage may be cheaper than insuring a vehicle with Liability, Comprehensive and Collision coverage.

My car insurance rates will be higher if I’m a smoker.

Your car insurance rates will not be higher if you smoke — we don’t even ask you if you’re a smoker when you get a quote from us.

My car insurance rates will be similar to my neighbor’s rates.

Car insurance rates are individually determined, so factors such as age, driving record, type of vehicle and marital status are considered. Each person’s situation is unique, and car insurance rates will vary because of this.

Car insurance rates go down dramatically when drivers turn 25.

Younger and older drivers typically have the most car crashes, and customers of different car insurance companies have different claims experiences. When determining auto insurance rates, insurers generally consider a variety of information about you, including age, vehicle information, claims history and the claims experience of other customers like you.

While it’s generally true that rates will go down when you turn 25 if all information about you and your vehicle remains the same, changes in one or more of the other pieces of information used to calculate a rate could lead to you getting a higher, lower or the same rate when you turn 25.

Comprehensive coverage protects drivers in all situations.

Comprehensive coverage is one type of protection available on an auto insurance policy (others being Collision, Uninsured Motorist, etc.). Comprehensive coverage pays only for damage caused by an event other than a collision, including:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Weather (hail, floods, etc.)
  • Vehicle collisions with animals

I can use Rental Reimbursement coverage to rent a car for my vacation.

Unless your insured car is in the shop as the result of an accident, you won’t be able to use Rental Reimbursement to rent a car for vacation. Depending on the limits you selected when you bought your policy, Rental Reimbursement coverage pays for some or all of the cost of a rental car — but only when your insured car is in the repair shop because of a car accident.

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Realities

People who live in the city pay more to insure their cars than people outside the city.

Within a state, city dwellers usually pay more for car insurance than rural residents. Cities have a higher risk for claims due to more traffic, more people and more theft, which generally means higher car insurance rates.

An accident can make my rates go up, even if it’s not my fault.

Accidents that are your fault have a direct effect on your car insurance rate. Depending on the circumstances, you also may be placed in a group of customers who receive higher rates, even if an accident isn’t your fault.

Anyone who drives my car with my permission is covered if I have insurance.

If you allow someone to drive your car, that person is covered by your insurance policy. Keep in mind that if the person who drives your car doesn’t have insurance and causes an accident, you could be held responsible for the damage, which could make your car insurance rate go up.

Information from my credit report is used when determining my car insurance rate.

Most auto Insurance companies in Florida use what is called an insurance score — this score is used when determining your car insurance rate. We use credit because numerous studies have shown that credit is a very powerful and independent predictor of the likelihood of future accidents or insurance claims. In fact, one company’s data shows that consumers with the worst insurance scores are twice as likely to have an accident or insurance claim as those with the best scores.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Some information courtesy of Progressive.

Posted August 27, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized

Driving with Hazard Lights on is Illegal in Florida   Leave a comment

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It has been a big discussion on social media: motorists who use their hazard lights while driving in the rain.

In Florida, it is illegal to drive with your hazard lights. Hazards lights are for stopped vehicles only, officials say. The one situation where Florida drivers are allowed to use their hazards when in motion is when the vehicle is being used in a funeral procession .  

An FHP spokesperson said that flashers are for emergency situations. “First responders look for flashers to see if someone needs help.”

Law enforcement officials say hazard lights can actually reduce visibility making other drivers think you are stopped or stalled.

Other drivers say flashers make it difficult to see when a motorist is tapping the brakes or using a turn signal.  

The FHP spokesperson says if visibility is so bad that you cannot see, pull over in a parking lot, plaza or somewhere safe until conditions improve. 

Florida has a high number of out of state drivers that may not know this law or believe it is acceptable or even helpful to drive with hazard lights on in the rain. If you are one of these drivers or know someone who does this please let them know it is not only illegal according to Florida Statute 316.2397, but its also dangerous.

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Posted August 26, 2013 by leecountyinsurance in Uncategorized